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At the end of May 2021 at the Mikser Festival innovative UNFPA Dad’s Hub concept was launched and soon after it was converted to a completely innovative project Dad’s Hub on the Wheels that was supported by the UNFPA Innovative Funds. Mikser festival is an annual event that gathers all actors from the government, CSOs, international community, artists and creative thinkers and looks for solutions in the field of social change, environment, sustainable design, and culture.
In addressing gender stereotypes in Serbia, we have reviewed with interest Dad’s Hub practices from Ukraine and, following best practices in other countries, decided to apply it in Serbia. Together with partners from Mikser Organization, and with journalist Misa Stojiljkovic, with whom UNFPA developed the television series “Dad, You are Crazy” where he engaged a number of fathers from Serbia to speak about their experiences in fatherhood, UNFPA Serbia announced the concept of the Dad Hub as a virtual and interactive space for fathers. Soon after, this initiative was further elaborated to an innovative concept Dad’s Hub on the Wheels implemented in Serbia only.



Moving caravan Dads on the Wheels was traveling in attractive UNFPA branded van from September to December of 2021 through selected areas across Serbia, from Belgrade, Bac, Kragujevac, Novi Pazar and Vrmdza to work directly with fathers on the gender-transformative workshops. Six structured discussions with fathers were organized live with topics: the role of men in the community and family in the 21st century; Men, Women, and Caregiving, one in each city, and four online discussions were organized online with topics: I became a dad, what now? My father and I – my father’s legacy; Fathers and setting up boundaries; and Parenthood during COVID 19 epidemic.


This innovative concept expanded concrete gender transformative activities, especially those promoting fatherhood. With the support from UNFPA Innovation funds, the objective of the project was to:  
- Promote active and engaged fatherhood at the local level among fathers in the following geographical locations in Serbia: Beograd, Bac, Kragujevac, Novi Pazar and Vrmdza village, places we had data from UNFPA earlier analysis;
- Empower fathers for dialogue and discussions on gender hierarchy and norms through workshops organized with psychologists, trainers, experts, celebrities/advocates, including famous journalists, designers, TV hosts at the above locations.



The project empowered local dads to connect with each other, but also with children, families, friends, and with society in general. It was a chance for UNFPA to map the most important emotional, mental and material issues that fathers face in Serbia and to use mapped-out issues to develop activities for the next project phase: raising public awareness about promoting fatherhood in online space and onsite in Serbia. Several workshops on different topics concerning fatherhood were designed to complement endeavors of the team to find a direct approach to fathers on a local level in five locations and broader online. In total, 66 men were part of the project through their participation either in online or onsite. In the early stage, it was planned to have 30 participants, however, with the UNFPA innovation fund and additional funds, the number of reached men was increased. Innovative models of learning based on practical experience or adventure learning were used, while also applying UNFPA approved manuals in the area of men engagement such as Promundo materials. Facilitators were male professionals and celebrities, such as journalist and psychologist Misa Stojilkovic.


With journalist and psychologist Misa Stojiljkovic as a leader, the workshops were designed in such a way that fathers can share their experiences in a safe and protected environment, with full discretion. They could openly express all their ideas, needs, thoughts, emotions, fears and challenges they have as parents. These workshops gave fathers support, an opportunity for someone to hear them on topics they often do not have interlocutors for, but as well a chance to get to know each other a little better and articulate some of the challenges they face better.

During the project, the creative concept and strong visual identity of the campaign was designed, as well as communication material for social media and the web, but also for traditional media, national and local and had auditoriums more than a million. To give visibility to the Dads Hub, online social media group Dads on the Wheels was developed. It gathered fathers from the different project locations and on a national level. Social media groups were a space for experience exchange between fathers and promotion of project activities - fatherhood. Dads on the Wheels also represented a space that ensured ongoing exchange knowledge on fatherhood, provided needed support in development of parental skills and opened a dialogue and provided base for potential bigger future cooperation. More than 80 social media posts were posted during four months in the Facebook group that invited for an open discussion on main gender-related issues and engaged parenthood. Promotion on social media channels of Dad`s Hub had a reach of almost 250,000 people.


In December 2021 the final event was organized in Impact Hub, a place gathering people and potential donors in the field of business and civil society organizations working on the same topic. UNFPA CO Serbia scaled up the project with the final event, the Conference Dads Hub on the Wheels that was implemented on 27th December 2021. Due to an unstable epidemiological situation caused by COVID 19 (Omicron type) the Conference was organized as an online event (over 200 people followed the event), with nine participants in person, with the live streaming of the conference. The objective of the online Conference was to summarize the main achievements of the project, main findings related to balanced parenting and engaged fatherhood in different communities in Serbia, and to initiate discussion about the ways to continue Dad’s hub in the future.



The conference started with the opening remarks of the UNFPA Serbia Head of Office and continued with the main findings presented by the workshop facilitator and lead expert of the initiative, followed by a short documentary video “Tate na točkovima” (Dad’s Hub on the Wheels), presenting a project, its beneficiaries and their personal stories on balanced parenthood. Discussion on the conference continued by personal impressions of one of the workshop participants who is a father, but also a famous visual artist. Discussion was concluded with the presentation of successful measures on how to promote engaged fatherhood, implemented by a private sector company (IKEA). Dads hub will be further developed, with new partnership in 2022, providing online continuity of the podcast to the balanced parenthood and strengthening fatherhood.